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Welcome to the series #EVERYDAYHEROES in which we introduce exceptional members of our network. Through pop culture, we discovered that heroes fly, have superpowers, come from another planet, and wear capes and costumes, but there are other, real heroes. Heroes we are surrounded by every day, who raise their voices in times of injustice and fight for the rights of all of us. Who look the same as us, who express their superpower by fighting every day for a better and democratic society. Everyday heroes, that we have to talk about. Follow us on our Instagram to catch the next interview among the first ones.

Another Everyday Hero is Zulfiyya Mehdiyeva from Azerbaijan.

Can you introduce yourself?
I am Zulfiyya Mehdiyeva, working in the local NGO as a Communication Manager and realizing additional youth development projects. My topics of interest are economics, community building, conflict resolution, and feminism. I am also the founder of Easy Peasy Economics-network of young economists in Azerbaijan aiming to raise young economist leaders and increase socio-economic literacy in society. I spend my free time with my initiative group and sometimes paint with acrylic.

What do you consider your biggest success?
It is hard to pick one specific achievement and consider it my biggest success, but I would consider my activeness in civil society as my most significant success. It is because civic initiatives are energy-consuming and take not only physical but also mental energy. Sometimes it is also stressful, but I enjoy working with people and love the feeling of satisfaction when someone benefits from my activities. On the other hand, civil society became a space for me to discover my capacity and establish my civic vision. Over time, I learn to analyze the challenges and also gaps in Azerbaijani civil society. Therefore, civic activism became part of me and is my greatest achievement.

What does the word DEMOCRACY mean to you?
Democracy is the system that is led by society. The veins of democracy are people where decisions are made by a majority.

Who do you consider your Everyday Hero, and why?
To me, everybody who survives is an everyday hero:D
But if I should call specific groups or names, I would say people who take responsibility and initiatives to solve social/economic/political issues are courageous heroes, and luckily, I have met MANY of them.

What does the concept of Everyday Hero mean to you?
The essential feature of an everyday hero for me is positively touching someone’s life, and I think everybody at least once makes it happen. Therefore, I consider almost everybody a potential hero.

Why did you become a member of EDYN?
EDYN is a space for young leaders with similar mindsets. Regardless of the ethnicities, ideologies, or working sector, everyone here strive to promote civic values and focus on improving their societies. I also like the regional focus of the network. In global networks, people from small countries spend a lot of time explaining who they are and where they come from. But in EDYN, as our countries have similar pasts, this makes collaborations easier, and we can understand one another’s social and political issues better.

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